PORTLAND, Ore.—The Department of Justice announced today that a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer has been selected to receive the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing.
PPB North Ward Officer Kristen Schmidt is one of 18 law enforcement officers and deputies to receive the award from 12 jurisdictions across the country. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today announced the honorees in Atlanta.
“The job of law enforcement has always been difficult, but perhaps no more so than in the recent past, as officers have faced a host of significant challenges. The officers and deputies receiving this year’s awards show how so many of them go above and beyond, even in the midst of difficult circumstances,” the Attorney General said. “Every day, thousands of people who work in law enforcement build and maintain strong community ties that are essential to ensuring public safety. The recipients of this award represent quintessential examples of such critical efforts. It is an honor to recognize them. »
“On behalf of everyone at the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Oregon, we offer our sincere congratulations to Officer Kristen Schmidt on receiving this commendation,” U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug said. “The compassion and care she showed at a time when a member of the community was in the greatest need was exceptional and will serve as an example to officers and deputies across the state. We are very grateful to the person and officer that is Kristen Schmidt and thank her for her exemplary service.
Constable Schmidt is recognized for her work on the PPS Enhanced Crisis Response Team. Recently, she responded to a call from the Oregon Human Society where a woman attempting to retrieve her cats from a shelter had become belligerent. Responding officers were unaware that the woman was going through a long period of psychosis and that the sudden appearance of several uniformed officers as well as an ambulance would aggravate the woman’s condition.
To calm the situation, Officer Schmidt sat down with the woman and calmly explained to her the need for her to go to the hospital. When the woman refused to sit on a stretcher and enter an ambulance, Officer Schmidt drove the woman to the hospital herself. The woman later reported that she and Officer Schmidt spoke on their way to the hospital and that Officer Schmidt treated her with “dignity and respect and looked for ways to connect”. Officer Schmidt stayed in close contact with the woman during her three-week hospitalization, picked her up when she was discharged from the hospital, and drove her to pick up her dog from the shelter.
A year later, the woman met with Officer Schmidt at PPB’s North Ward to express her gratitude and share how differently she felt the day of her hospitalization might have turned out if it hadn’t been for Officer Schmidt. who had answered. The woman described Constable Schmidt as a powerful model of sensitive and compassionate policing for people in vulnerable situations.
The Attorney General’s Award recognizes state, local, tribal and territorial police officers, deputies and soldiers for their outstanding community policing efforts. Awarded officers and deputies have demonstrated active community engagement in one of three areas: innovations in community policing, criminal investigations or field operations.
The Department of Justice is working closely with national law enforcement stakeholder groups during the awards review period, leveraging their expertise and experience to determine recipients as part of the awards review. a competitive appointment process. The Department also works closely with its constituents, utilizing the breadth of knowledge within the Department to ensure a successful program that honors the exceptional service of our nation’s law enforcement officers and deputies.
For more information on the fifth annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing, please visit https://www.justice.gov/ag/policing-award.